Russia and Moldova close to gas price agreement: RIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Moldovia's President Igor Dodon during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia September 7, 2019. Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW/CHISINAU (Reuters) - Russia and Moldova are close to reaching agreement on gas supplies, the RIA news agency quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying after Russian President Vladimir Putin met Moldovan President Igor Dodon in Moscow on Saturday.

Moldova purchases gas from Russian gas giant Gazprom as part of an accord signed in 2008 that expires on Dec. 31. It currently pays $240 per 1,000 cubic metres.

“Various aspects of bilateral relations, as well as the gas issue, were discussed at the meeting. These negotiations are close to finalisation, and the proposed parameters are suitable in general,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA, without giving more details.

Dodon said on Facebook earlier on Saturday that he agreed with Putin on a reduction of gas price from October 1. Dodon had wanted to settle the lower gas price ahead of a parliament election in Moldova due on Oct. 20.

Before his Moscow visit, Dodon said he would propose a 30% reduction of the gas price. Based on Moldova’s current annual gas consumption of 3 billion cubic metres, the 30% price reduction would be equal to $200 million.

Reporting by Polina Devitt and Alexander Tanas; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne